Setting Sun – Holed Up

Setting Sun
Holed Up

Setting Sun is a band out of LA led by former New Yorker Gary Levitt and friend Eric Layer. Levitt is a veteran of the music scene, having played in bands while in New York and a few in the California area. Levitt wanted a more stripped-down outlet than his other projects and that was his goal with Setting Sun. Levitt’s music has many moods, but on this recording he prefers to be a little more brooding and dark while occasionally letting loose. The music and vocals set a quiet tone while still having an aggressive bite to them.
“I’ve Been Hit” is moved along by Levitt’s hushed vocals and slight guitar pickings that erupt occasionally. Eli Moore’s cello work adds another dimension to the song with its soaring, haunting qualities. “Love Is…” has some nice vocal hooks to go along with the brightly twinkling piano untill Levitt explodes with the anger filled chorus. “Oh My God” is a darker piece brought along by Levitt’s quiet reminisces; the song has a pleasant psych feel. This song tends to drag on longer than it should and eventually takes away from the better parts of the song.
“In a Lifetime” is a strong piece with soaring keyboards and vocals done in a chanting manner. There is some nice guitar work here that mixes very well with the slightly nasal vocals. “It’s Light” is a little off-key number that fits in very nicely here as slight change of variety. There is some really neat instrumentation to accompany this song that again hearkens back to some psych-based melodies. Levitt shows his range through this song that has a bittersweet undertone that fits perfectly here for the song and background moans.
This outing has some ups and downs, and it’s hard to tell what can work well for the band because most songs are pretty similar. When there is some variety, other examples that make you wonder if the band should stick to one style. Its uneveness can be very frustruating because there are flashes of very good moments that can give off hope. It isn’t totally dissapointing, and there are a couple of very nice songs and song portions that can be very appreciated; unfortunately there aren’t enough. This is a disc that shows talent that if used properly can create a recording much better than this decent one.